The corporate media has been on a feeding frenzy over the assault of an anti-Trump protester on the Ohio State University campus yesterday. Sensationalism drives page hits and ad revenue, so local and national media have focused almost entirely on the violent incident. Missing from the coverage is why the protesters were there in the first place — what they were trying to accomplish politically.
The OSU Lantern broke the story with a Twitter video which described the incident as a “tackle.” It’s understandable that a student newspaper that covers the OSU Buckeyes would use a football metaphor. But CNN and many other outlets picked up the innocuous-sounding word in their headlines.
It was not a tackle. Timothy Adams (called Timothy Joseph in some reports) was not wearing protective gear. He didn’t land on grass or Astroturf. He landed face-down on hard concrete. It was a violent attack that Adams was fortunate to walk away from with only bruises.
The Lantern video captured the words that assailant Shane Michael Stanton yelled right before he assaulted Adams: “You idiot!” But it didn’t capture the words that Stanton shouted before he ran down the stairs: “Democracy needs a peaceful transfer of power!” — echoing the words of Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Here are some of the words that Timothy Adams, a member of the International Socialist Organization, was saying right before Stanton assaulted him:
- None of us can win unless all of us can win. It’s the only kind of politics that can defeat the threat that Trump and his supporters pose. It’s a politics of solidarity, of struggling in the street and on our campuses, like we’ve been doing.
- But for our solidarity to be effective, we have to know who is really on our side, and who is just pretending to be on our side. Over the last month, the Democratic Party has told us that it is the only thing that stands between us and literal fascism. Well, we can see how that turned out.
- Thanks to WikiLeaks, we can see that at the same time the DNC was warning us about the threat that Trump posed in the primary, the Hillary Clinton campaign was working behind the scenes to get him more air time, because they believed he would be an easier opponent to defeat. During the campaign, rather than putting forth a political vision that could actually speak to the interests of working class people, Clinton spent her time courting conservatives and Republican donors, not even going to states that have been decimated by the de-industrialization and politics of austerity that she stands for.
- The Democratic Party is, at its root, a corporate party. It’s a party that represents the interests of the 1 percent, even though they talk like they're on our side when they need our vote. When they’re actually in power, they don’t do anything that actually benefits the vast majority of working class and oppressed people in this country.
- When Bernie Sanders tried to run for the Democratic nomination, thanks again to WikiLeaks, we see all of the dirty tricks the party used to stop his campaign dead its tracks, because it threatened the corporate basis of that party.
- The day after the election, Hillary Clinton, who had spent so much time denouncing Trump as a racist, told us that we need to have an open mind about him. President Barack Obama said that if Trump succeeds, America succeeds. Think about what that means. Think about what Trump is threatening to do. Even the supposedly left-wing Democrat Elizabeth Warren has said that she will work to find common ground with Donald Trump. These two parties are on the same side, and it’s not our side!
These are not words that Corporate America and the Democratic Party faithful want to hear. This is when Shane Michael Stanton invoked Nancy Pelosi and began running down the stairs toward Adams.
After some time to recover, Adams concluded his remarks. “Donald Trump is not the first time we’ve had to face the prospect of the far right,” he said. “I say that not to be dismissive of the very real threat that his presidency poses. There is very real fear that we all feel. But there’s a history that we can learn from. We have ancestors in struggle that have come before us, with lessons we can learn from. Time and time again communists, socialists, anarchists, trade union militants, and students have formed their own organizations to fight the right wherever it showed up.”
“We are all here tonight because we reject Donald Trump and his sexist, misogynist, racist, homophobic, and anti-immigrant bigotry,” said Dana White of Socialist Alternative, the group that organized the protest. “Since Trump’s election we have seen countless acts of violence against people of color, LGBTQ people, women, and immigrants.
“I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to have an ‘open mind’ to bigotry,” she said. “Unfortunately, though, this is not at all uncharacteristic of the Democratic Party. Where has the Democratic Party been as more immigrants have been deported than in any previous administration? Where has the Democratic Party been as mass incarceration continues to increase, and people of color are harassed and murdered in their own communities every day? Where has the Democratic Party been as the Standing Rock Sioux have been fighting to protect their water? And now the Dakota Access Pipeline is set to be green-lighted by Obama — after the election, of course.
“We need a real alterative that is capable of fighting and challenging the status quo for the working class,” White said. “We need to be organized and disciplined. We need to build a party of the 99% that will fight against the establishment politics that brought us to where we are today.”
Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, also a member of Socialist Alternative, has called for a nationwide general strike for all workers and students on January 20, Inauguration Day for Donald Trump. “General strikes scare the hell out of the oligarchy, because it is the joining together as one of the working people of this country, an act that always threatens the wealth of the ruling class,” writes Daily Kos columnist ZhenRen.